This pregnant whale died with 50 pounds of plastic in her stomach
The Mediterranean Sea is choked with plastic waste, and the sperm whale may be the latest casualty of the pollution problem.
A pregnant sperm whale washed up, dead, on a sandy beach outside Porto Cervo, a resort town on Italy’s island of Sardinia last week. When scientists and veterinarians cut open her womb and stomach, they found a horrifying sight: A dead baby whale, and nearly 50 pounds of plastic waste jammed into her belly.
The plastic filled more than two thirds of her stomach. They could also see the remains of some of the squid she'd eaten—but the nutrients from that food likely never made it into her bloodstream, because her intestines were blocked by the morass of plastic waste.
“I never saw such big quantity of plastic,” said Luca Bittau, a marine biologist at SEAME Sardinia, a nonprofit organization